Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Buddhism: the hopeless renunciation of all creation / Christianity: its loving salvation

Rudolf Steiner:

"Did this Being really stream out over the Earth at Golgotha? In order to answer this let us examine and compare a time six hundred years before the birth of Christ, let us say, with a time six hundred years after the birth of Christ. What has happened here — wherein does the difference consist?
Six hundred years before Christ, Buddha lived. He lived in a king's palace. Then he went out into the world and learned to know old age, sickness, poverty, death, and the corpse. He saw that the whole life of man is suffering. Old age is suffering; sickness is suffering; poverty is suffering; birth is suffering; death is suffering; to be parted from those whom we love is suffering; in short, the whole of existence is suffering. So he said to himself, and taught the people, that they must lose, must learn to forget, their craving for existence. Here we have the hopeless renunciation of all creation.
But six hundred years later came the Mystery of Golgotha. As a symbol we see a cross erected, and upon the cross a human corpse. And the people look up to the corpse and are filled with a sense that all suffering can be healed. Herein lies a great difference. In death human beings no longer see the token of suffering, but the token of the healing of suffering. They can become victors over all that their life here on Earth brings them. And this means that a fruit will be carried over into the other life.
If man now understands that birth and life are not suffering, but afford the possibility of emerging from it, inasmuch as life gives him the opportunity to develop the spiritual which leads out beyond all suffering — if man understands this, old age is no longer suffering, but a drawing nearer to the fruit of life; death is no longer suffering, but redemption; not to be united with those he loves is no longer suffering, if he has united himself with the Christ-Being, the Being of infinite love, and thus envelops with his love all beings and all worlds.
All this was felt six hundred years after Christ, and since that time it has been possible for man to feel united with the Christ, the Spirit of the Sun, Who is also the Spirit of the Earth — Who, even as He permeates the Earth, permeates also each one of us, and calls forth mildness, warmth, and love within our souls — Who awakens infinite love and transforms the Earth."

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